Manziel completed 7 of 11 passing attempts for 63 yards and ran for 27 yards on six carries versus the Lions, but the young QB may need to learn to run less if he wants to have a long career in the league. While Johnny has exceptional elusiveness and was adequately successful on the ground in the opener, it will be his passing ability that'll help him become a reliable starter as a pro. Manziel didn't complete any deep bombs, but he did show plenty of zip on the ball. He will also have to be smart on the field and do well in managing the game.
"The more and more I get better at the progressions, the more and more I get comfortable with the play calls and the scheme and what we’re trying to do and pre snap looks,” said Manziel post game. "The more and more I continue to get better over time, the less and less hopefully that’ll weed out.”
The first year NFL quarterback comes from a much different style in college than the traditional pro-form. With the Aggies, Manziel became accustomed to a fast paced, somewhat ad-lib style that will take some adjusting to get habitually away from. Bootleg plays, like vs. Detroit, will help him bridge the gap some, but he'll also have to be able to consistently and comfortably make plays from the pocket.
Johnny's competition is somewhat bland. Hoyer completed 6 of 14 passes for 92 yards against the Lions. Hoyer is your typical middle-of-the-road NFL quarterback and may not bring the fans (or haters) like the ultra-famous Manziel, but the veteran may end up being the best long-term option for the team.
Manziel will likely be a raving success or an all-out bust. There doesn’t appear to be much room for middle ground with him and the attention he draws. His presence will definitely help the NFL and Cleveland Browns television ratings, but eventually, it will be all about his performance on the field if he wants to keep the ratings up and earn the starting position.
His next preseason game will be on Monday night against the Washington Redskins and it will surely to draw another huge crowd around TV sets after his first outing set the NFL preseason game record for viewership. As long as he stays relevant, Manziel translates to money in a variety of ways. His jersey already leads the league in sales, before he even played an NFL game.
"Luckily for me, there’s three more games for me to get out there and learn and continue to go through different situations versus different defenses. Look at the defenses more of what they’re doing and continuing to learn how to go through this season, obviously in preseason form, but still go week through week, learning and just growing up as a quarterback is what I need to do,” said Johnny after his NFL debut. "Week one is obviously, I guess you guys can say it’s close, but at the same time, there’s a lot of things that unfold from now until then that will paint a better picture for us."
One thing is certain in this league. He’ll have to earn his nickname Johnny Football and respect on the field or he won't be out there long.
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